Tahiti Sights & Attractions

Famous for it’s captivating mix of tropical island informality, distinctive Polynesian culture and French savoir faire, Tahiti offers a choice of must-see attractions for inquisitive couples enjoying a romantic honeymoon holiday.

Sip French wine in Papeete; explore on foot, bike or 4WD the scenic and unspoiled Faatautia Valley; watch the Arahoho blowholes spout geysers; and admire picturesque waterfalls in the spectacular Fautaua Valley and those at Vaimahuta and Haamaremare Iti.


Discover a charming mix of tropical island informality and French savoir faire in the vibrant port capital of Tahiti. Browse for black pearls, wood-carvings, pareos, mother-of-pearl shells and French perfume at Papeete’s lively central market, Le Marche de Papeete.

Sip French wine or a café au lait at an outdoor café while people-watching fashion-conscious locals along the bustling Pomare Boulevard, which curves around Papeete's busy waterfront. Later, enjoy local traditions at a display of Polynesian music and dance featuring ‘warriors’ twirling flaming torches.

Arahurahu Marae

Explore the only fully restored marae (ancient temple) in Polynesia, located 22km west of Papeete. Maintained like a museum, this is arguably Tahiti's best example of an ancient Polynesian temple.

Check out stone pens once used to house pigs that were to be sacrificed to the gods and don’t miss a re-enactment of old Polynesian ceremonies at Arahurahu, held during the annual Heiva Nui celebrations in July.

Arahoho blowholes

At the surf-pounding headland of Arahoho, watch this geyser-like phenomenon as waves pound rocks beneath the overhanging rock shelf, blasting sea water skywards through the eroded holes.

Cascades de Faarumai

(Faarumai Waterfall) Easy walking trails lead to some of Tahiti’s best waterfalls, such as the Cascades de Faarumai, which plunge 200m into a large pool. Elsewhere, Haamaremare Iti and Haamaremarerahi Falls are easily reached after a 45-minute climb up a rugged track.

Along the way, pass humble wood dwellings surrounded by gardens of breadfruit and banana plants that provide a small insight into how ordinary Tahitians live in rural Tahiti.

Circle the island

Escape bustling Papeete's on a scenic drive along the 114km-long circle island route and discover the pleasures of rural Tahiti: see wave-pounded cliffs, waterfalls, ancient temples, peaceful beaches and brightly coloured churches.

Don’t miss the village of Papaeari – Tahiti's oldest village, settled some time between 400 and 500 AD – or the Musée Paul Gauguin, located near where the artist lived from 1891 until 1893.

Point Venus

Walk in the footsteps of early explorers, such as Captain Cook and Captain William Bligh, on this historic landing site located at the tip of a peninsula fringed by volcanic black-sand beaches. This is the spot where Cook observed the transit of the planet Venus on June 3, 1769.

Musée Gauguin

Discover a showcase of memorabilia including sketches, block prints and reproductions of many of the artist’s most famous paintings at this homage to Paul Gauguin, who lived in the Mataiea district from 1891 until 1893.

Three large tikis (carved sculptures of ancestors) from Raivavae feature prominently in the pretty garden – one of them stands 2.7m high and weighs 2110kg.

Musée de Tahiti et Ses Isles

Get an insight into Polynesian history, religion and culture as it was before the arrival of western explorers and missionaries at this fascinating showcase of paintings, sculptures, ancient canoes and rare, historical artifacts.

Musée de Pearl

In probably the only museum in the world devoted entirely to pearls, learn about the history and practice of cultivating pearls in Tahiti as well as their unique role in art, history and mythology.

Le Marché de Papeete

Stroll through the true heart of Papeete in this 153-year-old public marketplace. Browse hundreds of stalls packed with Tahitian-made handicrafts, oils, vanilla, fruits and flowers. The best time to visit is early on Sunday mornings when the lively market is at its most colourful.

James Norman Hall

Author James Norman Hall is one of Tahiti's most famous residents – best known for Mutiny on the Bounty, which was co-authored with Charles Nordhoff. Stroll through the private rooms of his residence maintained as it was when he lived here from 1920 to 1951.

Latest update: Tahiti Sights & Attractions: 20 April, 2022